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Dec 12 2008

“Milk” And The Joy Of Sex: The Blowfish Blog

Milk
I have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog. It’s a review of “Milk,” the excellent and much- talked- about new biopic about Harvey Milk… with a focus on how the movie depicts sex.

I’m sure you’re all surprised. And deeply shocked.

It’s titled “Milk” And The Joy Of Sex, and here’s the teaser:

I realize this may come across like the welder’s review of “Flashdance.” But today, this sex writer wants to talk about the depiction of sex in “Milk.”

Because it was so strikingly different from the way sex gets depicted in almost every major Hollywood movie.

Not just different. Better. Way, way better.

You’ve no doubt heard about “Milk,” the new biopic about the history- making San Francisco gay activist and city supervisor Harvey Milk, directed by Gus Van Sant and starring Sean Penn. If you haven’t already seen it, you’ve probably heard that it’s brilliant, that it’s inspiring and moving and tear- jerking and funny, that Penn’s performance is nothing short of astounding. All of which is true.

But today, just for a change, I want to talk about sex.

See, unlike most Hollywood movies about gay people, the sex in “Milk” is not downplayed. It gets a starring role. And unlike most Hollywood movies, period, sex is treated, not as a joke, not as a source of easy fearmongering and/or cheap titillation, not even as a source of dramatic angst and despair a la “Brokeback Mountain,” but as a source of joy and liberation, a central part of a human life, worthy of value and respect.

(Warning: Spoiler alert. Spoilers are all over this review like a cheap suit.)

To find out more about how “Milk” depicts sex — and what that depiction reveals about the movie’s attitude towards it — read the rest of the review. Enjoy!

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